An asphalt rake works in a similar way as a lawn rake. They each have a handle, rake head and often braces to reinforce the handle. Yet the two rakes are designed for different materials as lawn rakes are for lawns and asphalt rakes are for asphalt. The teeth on garden rakes tend to be too long to allow even raking of asphalt and the garden rake heads aren't usually wide enough for efficient coverage when paving. Industrial asphalt rakes have a spiked rectangular rake head attached to a handle and are used for professional applications of materials such as asphalt and concrete.
The side of an asphalt rake head with teeth is used to level asphalt, while the flat side is used to smooth it. Rivets in the heads of some asphalt rakes help the rake heads from falling off during use. An industrial asphalt rake may have a steel shaft on the bottom third of the handle to add strength. Some asphalt rakes may have an angled brace between the rake head and the handle on either side of the handle. These braces may be made from aluminum tubes.
Asphalt rake handles as well as the heads may be made of aluminum. Some asphalt rake heads are made from aluminum — a fairly lightweight metal — and magnesium. Lighter materials may reduce fatigue on the job, but some paving jobs may require a stronger rake with stainless steel features. Heavy duty industrial applications usually demand asphalt rake handles with a strong gripping surface.
Asphalt rake handles are also available in wood and fiberglass. A fiberglass handle may be light, but it also may splinter. To solve this problem, a sleeve that fits over the handle may be available. A sleeve may also extend the life of the handle. Asphalt rakes are also called paving rakes since they are used in raking and smoothing pavement.